The Cowardly Lion

“Color inside the lines,” they said.
She did. And she used every crayon in the box.
Their words stifled, built a rigid cage.
She wanted to rant, rattle, and bend the bars.

Average. Ordinary. Stay inside the lines.

There was a school play–The Wizard of Oz.
She wanted to be the Cowardly Lion.
“Silly girl,” they said. “That’s a boy’s role.”
One for the most popular boy, of course.
She stood on the risers, a sad soprano, just another voice in the chorus.

Below average. Extraordinarily ordinary. Trapped inside the lines.

Always the good girl.
Yes, sir.
Ever the peacemaker.
The leggy wallflower.

Average. Ordinary. Stay inside the lines.

Then one day–quietly, carefully–she pushed the boundaries.
She found her voice.
She spoke out.
She learned to stand up for herself.

Average? Ordinary? What lines?

Inch by inch, she pushed forward.
More like the tortoise, less like the hare.
She stepped out of the comfort zone, crossed the line,
Grasped the golden medal.

She is the Cowardly Lion. She always was.
And she’s finally cracked the bars and left the cage.



I tell you I’m okay but, really, I’m not.

I’ve lost my tools, my motivation.

Where did they go? They were right here…a few months ago.

I’m in a slump.

I’ve broken promises I made to myself.

I’ve forgotten the importance of putting on the oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs.

Maybe I’m the one who needs assistance this time.






“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things,

and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.”

–  Ralph Waldo Emerson –

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